Congress has passed and the President has signed government funding legislation called the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (CAA-22). The CAA-22 temporarily and prospectively extends rules regarding access to telehealth services in the health savings account (HSA) context that were enacted in March 2020 in response to COVID-19.
As background, the CARES Act amended the HSA rules under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) to state that a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) could provide telehealth and other remote care services without first meeting the plan’s minimum deductible under Code Section 223(c)(2).
Under the CARES Act provision, however, a health plan did not fail to be treated as an HDHP merely because it did not have a deductible for telehealth and other remote care services for plan years beginning on or before December 31, 2021. An individual covered under this type of health plan could contribute to an HSA.
This provision was effective on the CARES Act’s enactment date (March 27, 2020), but could be applied retroactively to January 1, 2020 (IRS Notice 2020-29).
The CAA-22 prospectively extends this CARES Act rule by making it applicable for for the last nine months of 2022. for months beginning:
- After March 31, 2022.
- Before January 1, 2023.
The relief does not apply for the first three months of 2022 so some plans (e.g., calendar-year plans) must still apply their minimum deductible to telehealth and other remote care services during those months. Plans with 2021 plan years that started on or after April 1, 2021, should be unaffected by the three-month gap that affects other plans, because their CARES Act relief will not expire until those plan years end.
For a copy of the legislation, please click on the link below:
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, Pub. L. No. __ (2022)